Greatest Staff Ever

Jenny's View

Dear Friends,

Gabe Martinez is a good example of someone we are lucky to have scored as the site of his meteoric rise through the hotel business. He grew up not far from here in a family of five kids, with hard work and determination in his DNA. Hired as a bellman at age 22, he was promoted to the front desk, and then moved to another hotel to work as a front desk supervisor. 

According to Gabe, there was not one day when he was working at another hotel that he didn’t wish he were back at La Fonda. In 2013 he called our Director of Guest Services and said he’d “bend over backwards and do anything” to return to La Fonda. He took a pay cut to return to the front desk, but we know talent when we see it. It wasn’t long before we put Gabe in charge of the remodeled Bell Tower, not knowing it would be his trial by fire! The upgraded Bell Tower was an instant hit, and Gabe suddenly found himself handling a brand-new budget and staff of 22, before he was even 30 years old.

Gabe as Front Desk Manager

In late 2015, we promoted Gabe again, to Evening Manager, where he is in charge of the hotel after hours and excels at turning difficult situations around quickly and gracefully. We are really lucky to have him—especially since he has four children at home, including a months-old infant. “I didn’t have an opportunity to go to college, and now with my kids that’s my goal,” he says, “to make that possible for them, so they don’t have to struggle as much at a young age.”

Gabe as Night Manager

Gabe With his Son

It was a no-brainer for us to name Gabe as La Fonda's Manager of the Year for 2017, and the judges of the New Mexico Hospitality Association Top HAT Awards agreed, because they named him as the Front-of-House Food & Beverage Employee of the Year for 2017 for the entire state. And, while the Front-of-the-House winner is seen by most of our guests, it’s important to recognize that La Fonda also took home the employee award for Back-of-House Hospitality, with maintenance worker Carlos Dominguez. For the past 19 years, Carlos has been our best-kept secret. Carlos is always eager to tackle a new project with energy and ambition.  He has the desire to learn, the skills to be a leader and is naturally positive and helpful.

Gabe Martinez

Top Hat Front-of-the-House

Carlos Dominguez 

Top Hat Back-of-the-House

I know it’s not nice to brag, but this is just objective truth: La Fonda’s staff is the best in the business.

With Gratitude,

Jennifer Lea Kimball

Detours at La Fonda 

Harvey just keeps on growing!

Those of you that have met ‘Harvey’ in La Fiesta Lounge, know that he is a sight to be seen! Standing over 4 feet tall, he oversees the fun in La Fiesta and was inspired by Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter’s rabbit ashtrays that used to be in the Fred Harvey properties and, are now collector items. His tremendous popularity has led to smaller reproductions, which are now sold in Detours, La Fonda’s gift shop.

"Harvey" in La Fiesta Lounge

We are pleased to announce that, after numerous inquiries, the original 4 foot ‘Harvey’ is now going to have a few brothers! Custom orders have already been placed and here is a photo of his first mold in progress (sans a few limbs). This limited edition of Harvey will be available to his new owner in April and, once the mold is completed, the remaining castings will only require a month to produce.

"Harvey" Under Construction

Should you also desire a 4 foot ‘Harvey’ in your home or office, contact Detours at La Fonda at 505-988-1404 to secure a deposit and then you can join the elite "Harvey" owners. 

Recipe For Adventure

French Onion soup, Yield 1 gallon or 10 people

The classic French Onion Soup should be easy to make, but the in the case of such a simple soup as this, Chef Lane says its success or failure comes down to the onions and the broth. Do them right, and you have a masterpiece on your hands. Do them wrong, and it's all lost. He found that great French onion soup should be made with lightly golden brown caramelized onions rather than a deep dark brown color, which can turn bitter. The second most important component of the soup is the stock. Traditionally, the stock of choice for French onion soup is a beef stock. Many of the store bought brands are not up to snuff, so check with your local butcher or boutique store for a high quality stock or make your own.


2.5 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 ounces clarified butter or Ghee (Can be purchased at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or most specialty grocery stores) 

4 ounces Cognac

3 quarts of high quality beef stock

To taste, kosher salt and white pepper

Croutons (crunchy cheese croutons) – Either store bought or homemade.

Finely shredded Gruyere Cheese as topping


  • In a 2 gallon stock pot, heat the clarified butter and add onions.
  • Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are caramelized. This can sometimes take up to an hour or longer, if done correctly.
  • Add cognac and flame, cook until flame goes out and add beef stock.
  • Bring to boil and simmer for 1 hour, season to taste with kosher salt and white pepper.
  • Now you can place hot soup in individual crocks, add crunchy croutons and top liberally with slices of Gruyere cheese. The finely grated cheese and croutons allow the cheese to melt into the soup, making it heartier and more satisfying and the cheese will not congeal on top.
  • Place in 500 degree oven until cheese is melted and lightly browned.






Live at La Fonda

Whichever song it is that gets you rockin’ that boogie, Little Leroy and His Pack of Lies is going to blast it out in the course of the evening—or they’ll take requests printed neatly on a picture of Jackson, Franklin, or Grant. A hijinks party band, Murali Levine and his crew specialize in good-natured ribbing.

The set list says it all, from Rolling Stones to Pink Floyd, James Brown to Jimi Hendrix. Between numbers, the lead guitarist in the funny hats carries on with his rhythm guitarist, “Jake the Snake” Jones, bassist Don Juan, and drummer Boom Boom. That’s not to say they don’t have their musical chops. Levine’s CD Enjoying a Life won a New Mexico Music Award in 2011, and is available on iTunes.

“The band is always learning new songs, so our show doesn’t get old,” says Levine, aka Little Leroy. “We do a fine mix of original and cover songs spanning 70 years of dance music. We remain focused on giving our audience a show they’ll enjoy and remember.” They also don’t take themselves too seriously, according to their web page with the tag line “Bad-Ass Dance Music & Rock N Roll Comedy.”

Little Leroy and His Pack of Lies

Levine says the band loves performing at La Fonda. “We’re always amazed and delighted to find people from so many different places around America and the world stopping in our little City Different and enjoying La Fiesta Lounge,” he says, adding that they hope to see everyone in 2018, when they play La Fiesta Lounge on Jan. 18-19, Feb. 15-16, and April 12-13. Stay tuned for future dates.

It's a Good Time To...

Enjoy a season of great concerts at Lensic Performing Arts, Santa Fe’s top performance venue and a nonprofit cultural organization that hosts an eclectic range of entertainment of its own: theater, music, film, and dance performances, from local to international.

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives

Manhattan Transfer 

Starting with the platinum-selling Americana star Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives (Jan. 20), the Lensic lightens the wintry mood with legendary jazz vocalists The Manhattan Transfer (Feb. 1); the string quartet Brooklyn Rider, hailed as “the future of Chamber music” (Feb. 9); Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Beth Hart (Feb. 21); and the Irish acoustic group Lúnasa with Tim O’Brien (Feb. 23).

Brooklyn Ryder

Beth Hart

Shops at La Fonda

La Fonda Gift Cards

Now you can give the gift of La Fonda all year round. We are now offering gift cards that can be used for anything from a Staycation weekend to margaritas at the Bell Tower to any one of our fabulous gifts in Detours, our gift shop. The cards have no expiration date and can be reloaded, if desired. To purchase a card, call Annette Sedillo at 505-995-2301. 


Tom Taylor

Tom Taylor's biggest online sales event of the year is coming soon, subscribe to their Newsletter for your invitation and to be entered in their monthly prize drawing. Tom Taylor’s world-renowned collection of distinctive belts, buckles, bags, and accessories are handcrafted in the USA and features prominent local New Mexico silversmiths and leather artists. Stop into their La Fonda store or visit Tom Taylor online.

Belts & Buckles

Tom Taylor Store


Out & About

The 24th annual Souper Bowl pits local chefs, including our own Chef Lane, in a soup-making contest for charity at the Santa Fe Convention Center (Jan. 27). Eagerly anticipated by foodies every year, Santa Fe Restaurant Week (Feb. 18-25) presents a roster of top eateries offering bargain-priced prix-fixe menus, including La Plazuela. Keep checking the website for additions, and make your reservations early! Taos and Albuquerque follow with their own Restaurant Weeks into March.

Souper Bowl

Beer-lovers take note: The New Mexico Brewers Guild’s 7th annual WinterBrew festival brings 18 craft brewers from around the state to the Farmers Market Pavilion (Jan. 12), to offer samples of stouts, porters, barley wines, and other cold-weather favorites.

Think you’re super-chill? Plunge into 2018 with the Polar Bear Challenge in Eagle Nest Lake, followed by a snowshoe hike in the park (Jan. 1). Though it’s hardly everyone’s idea of fun, local policy wonks won’t want to miss the New Mexico Legislative session preview (Jan. 12), sponsored by the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, with refreshments to make the politics more palatable.

Polar Bear Challenge

The relatively new gallery Freeform Art Space (part of the emerging Siler Road Art District anchored by Meow Wolf) marks the anniversary of the 2017 Women’s March with The Feral Howl: A Feminist Response to Our Time, an exhibit opening Jan. 12, with a performance night Jan. 20.

And, don’t forget to follow La Fonda’s Artist in Residence every weekend January through February. If you are in need of a Staycation, come stay with us on one of the Artist-in-Residence weekends and take advantage of the special rates at La Fonda. Or just stop in from 4pm to 7pm, Thursday through Saturday, through February 28th.

Mateo Romero - Artist in Residence

Rain Dance


The Santa Fe Symphony plays Brahms, Grieg, and Liszt (Jan. 21), and Glinka, Shostakovich, and Tchaikovsky, featuring cellist and 2011 TED Senior Fellow Joshua Roman (Feb. 11), who also performs a concert recital on Feb. 16. Santa Fe Pro Musica presents pianist Conrad Tao with “Visionaries,” dark-hued showpieces from Mozart, Schumann, and Joan Tower (Jan. 27-28), and award-winning American soprano Angela Meade at the St. Francis Auditorium (Jan. 14), followed by Russian violinist Vadim Gluzman (Feb. 10).

Joshua Roman

Vadim Gluzman

The New Mexico Performing Arts Society promises to chase away the doldrums with its first annual “Winter Blues” concert at Immaculate Heart of Mary Chapel (Jan. 21). Santa Fe Desert Chorale plans a concert for the launch of its first commercial release, The Road Home, at Cristo Rey Church, featuring a repertoire that spans three centuries of American music (Feb. 13). Severall Friends, a consortium that gathers to play early music, will play a concert of Baroque trio sonatas for four at the San Miguel Chapel (Jan. 26). And conductor Joe Illick will give a performance talk on Bach (Jan. 9) at the United Church of Santa Fe.

Severall Friends

Joe Illick

At the clubs, world-music guitarist Derek Gripper plays Gig (Feb. 8); singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen plays The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing (Feb. 20); and Meow Wolf hosts School of Rock ABQ playing Led Zeppelin (Jan. 7), Roadkill Ghost Choir (Jan. 9), Octopus Project (Jan. 19), Jessica Lea Mayfield (Jan. 22), RJD2 (Jan. 26), Mr. Carmack (Jan. 27), Walk the Moon (Feb. 5), Poppy.Computer Tour (Feb. 13), The Russ Liquid Test (Feb. 16), Bully (Feb. 17), Willie Watson (Feb. 18), Benjamin Clementine (Feb. 21), and Blitzen Trapper (Feb. 26).

Octopus Project    

Jessica Lea Mayfield

Film & Performance

We don’t know yet what will be screened, but you can be sure the Santa Fe Film Festival will have some unusual gems (Feb. 7-11). Art film-lovers can continue with the series at SITE Santa Fe focusing on works by Lynn Hershman Leeson: the sci-fi Conceiving Ada (Jan. 11), followed by First Person Plural, a video confessional by the artist herself in four segments (Jan. 25).  Mountainfilm on Tour returns to the Lensic, screening the best in outdoor adventure films from the annual festival in Telluride (Feb. 2).

Conceiving Ada

SITE Santa Fe

Live in HD has a full menu planned for the Lensic, including Metropolitan Opera shows Tosca, in Sir David McVicar’s new production (two shows, Feb. 3), L’Elisir d’Amore (two shows, Feb. 10), and the Puccini classic La Bohème, in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production (Feb. 24). National Theatre Live in HD broadcasts Stephen Sondheim’s Follies, with a cast of 37 and 21-piece orchestra (Feb. 8). Met fans will also want to check out The Opera House, new from award-winning documentary filmmaker Susan Froemke, which tells the venue’s history (Jan. 20).


La Bohème

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet is bringing innovative dance to the Lensic, including all-male parody troupe Les Ballets Trockaderos de Monte Carlo (Jan. 23) and the critically acclaimed Ailey II (Feb. 13). And the acrobats of Cirque Eloize are taking on the culture of the Wild West in their new show Saloon, performed to live folk music (Feb. 20).

Ailey II


At the Museums

Celebrate Lunar New Year at the Museum of International Folk Art, with lion dances, refreshments, and art-making activities to mark the Year of the Dog (Feb. 18). The New Mexico Museum of Art is offering a Valentine’s Day Extravaganza, where you can craft cards, ornaments, and other tokens of love (Feb. 4).

Lunar New Year

Also at the art museum, opera lovers can listen in as Angela Meade, “the most talked-about soprano of our generation” (who performs in the St. Francis Auditorium the previous evening), teaches a master class of invited opera singers (Jan. 15). The art museum’s annual Winter Lecture Series looks at extraordinary women of the Southwest (Jan. 30) and Southwestern writers Fray Angelico Chavez and Willa Cather (Feb. 27).

Fray Angelico Chavez

Willa Cather

At the New Mexico History Museum, Roxanne Swentzell speaks on “Making It Matter Again: Exploring our Roots” (Jan. 3), Enrique Lamadrid explores “La Academia de la Nueva Raza” (Jan. 13), and Joseph Sabatini speaks on “Christmas Revels: The 1919 New Mexico Mounted Police Raid on Santo Domingo Pueblo” (Feb. 7). The Wheelwright Museum has Leah Mata leading a demonstration of her Chumash-style coastal California jewelry and regalia (Jan. 7), on free first Sunday, and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture holds its annual GranMary’s Winter Storytelling Program (Jan. 21).

Roxanne Swentzell

Enrique Lamadrid


Novelist Colum McCann speaks with actor Gabriel Byrne (Jan. 31) as part of the Lannan Foundation speaker series. Then short story writer Aleksandar Hemon engages literary critic John Freeman (Feb. 28), after author Nomi Prins speaks on economic issues with Juliet Schor (Jan. 24), all at the Lensic.

At SITE Santa Fe, author Arden Reed leads a book club discussion of his Slow Art: the Experience of Looking, Sacred Images to James Turrell (Jan. 9). Author Gabriella Coleman considers the group Anonymous and how it has dodged the cyberterrorism label, at the James A. Little Theater (Jan. 25), to be followed by an informal salon discussion at the School for Advanced Social Research (Jan. 26).

Colum McCann

Aleksandar Hemon

John Freeman

La Fonda and Santa Fe In the News

Baltimore Times - "The Best Things to Do in New Mexico" READ NOW

Prevue Destination Meetings and Incentives Magazine "Southwest Inspiration” READ MORE

CNN Travel “The Best Things to Do in Santa Fe, New Mexico” READ NOW

Food Network Magazine  “Christmas in Santa Fe” READ NOW

Sunset Magazine - “Why You Should Travel to Santa Fe Now.” READ NOW

Cowboys and Indians -  “The Secret of Great Design” .READ NOW